Caregivers may feel at a loss when telling children they will be seeing a therapist. While there are no set rules for having this conversation, the following tips are often helpful.
* As I typically meet caregivers first, telling children the therapist has passed their "screening" may alleviate some anxieties.
* Anxieties may also be eased if caregivers share their impressions of me and my office. Are there certain toys in the room they will likely enjoy? Share this observation with the child.
* Emphasize that therapy is being explored to help, not because they have done something wrong or are "bad." In fact, I have never met a "bad kid!" I am convinced they don't exist!
* Letting children know that they can always say no and have a choice in any activities or conversations they have during sessions can also be very relieving to hear.
* While I strive to make therapy as enjoyable as possible, it may not always be so. This is natural, as we are working through some difficult things! Some children appreciate the analogy of spiderman: when Peter Parker went through his transformation, it must have hurt a bit, but look what he became- someone who is very empowered! For others, the idea of a tiny flower growing up through muck may be more relatable.